Issue with Strap Lock Screws

So I recently bought some Schaller S-Locks for my bass and noticed that the screws for them were quite thick. Paying no attention to this at all, I took out the original screws on my bass and put in the Schaller S-Locks with no problem. It wasn’t until after I installed the S-Locks that I did some research online and found that forcing in thicker screws can cause the finish to crack and chip. I would like to mention that when installing the new S-Locks, the finish of my bass did not chip or crack, but now I’m scared that it will over time. What should I do? Should I go to a luthier and have them check the problem out? Do I need to worry at all?

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I don’t think you have any indication of a problem?

I have used S-Locks on all my instruments and never had any issues with the finish.


Same here. Using S-Locks was one of the best things I did to my bass!

The thing is that I forced the S-Locks into my bass without taking into account how thick the screws on them were compared to the screws of the original strap buttons. I can’t even screw back on the original strap buttons anymore because the screw hole has now been widened.

That said, I didn’t crack the finish or wood of the bass when installing the S-Locks. I’m just concerned that because I forced them into my bass, problems may arise in the future.

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I did this one one bass last week. Yes the screws were longer and it took some (slight) force. But I took that bass a few times for a hike to the park to play. It’s always dangling on my shoulders … no visible cracks. Sturdy as can be!

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If the larger screw didn’t chip or crack the finish as you were doing it then you’re all good.

I work with wood all day so it’s fine. You were probably fortunate because the body of the bass was a relatively soft wood (e.g. poplar) and the bigger shank size could be forced in. If it was really old or dense wood then not so much. Generally on the instructions it’ll give you the size of the drill bit you need to use when installing a strap lock (I know Dunlop does this). Next time if you put some wax on the thread of the screw it helps to ease it in as well.

Side note - botanically poplar is a hardwood but is really soft compared to
Ash or mahogany.

If you want to put the old screws back in when you sell it the video below will help.


Ah ok! Thanks for the response and advice!

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No. It’s a non-problem.

I have used Schaller S-Locks on all of my basses without an issue. Even if the Schaller screws are a tad wider than stock screws, the original hole acts as just a pilot hole. You’re not harming a thing.


No, you don’t need to worry at all. If installed properly the chance of a finish crack is minimal at best.

And even if you do get a finish crack from anything in the future, they are harmless.